In Renaissance for Reforms Nima Sanandaji and Stefan Fölster show that, in spite of initial resistance to market reforms, governments that implement them are rewarded by voters. This finding is true for both centre-right and left-leaning parties. However, the strongest finding, which goes against conventional wisdom, is that left-leaning governments that have won re-election have been those most keen on increasing economic freedom. Furthermore, when reforms create benefits for society at large, future changes are more easily accepted or even demanded. One example of this is the Australian Labour Party which won five consecutive elections whilst pursuing economic liberalization during the 1980s and 1990s.
Renaissance of Reforms is based on an analysis of 109 governments that completed their term of power in OECD countries between the mid-1990s and 2012. The authors study the link between the chance of re-election and changes in economic freedom for each government. The authors discuss how market reforms not only can boost growth but also expand opportunities for the less well off.
"This is the required companion volume to Why Nations Fail by Acemglou and Robinson. While those authors demonstrate that poor institutions are the explanation for economic failure, it is Sanandaji and Fölster that provide the successful strategy to overcome the obstacles. They demonstrate that market reforms lead to both economic and electoral success. Policy makers no longer have an excuse for not following the best policies. Renaissance for Reforms is required reading for all interested in policy change: academics, students, policy makers and politicians."
- Dr Nigel Ashford, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University
Stefan Fölster is adjunct professor at the Royal Institute of Technology and chief economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv).
Stefan has a background in research economics. He has previously been president for the Swedish Research Institute of Trade, a think tank and consultancy specializing on retail- and wholesale trade.
Stefan Fölster has published articles in numerous academic journals and newspapers, as well as a number of books. His focus is entrepreneurship, as well as organization and efficiency in industry and in the public sector.
Selected Recent Publications:
Fölster, S. & J. Nyström (2010) Climate Policy to Defeat the Green Paradox. AMBIO: Volume 39, Issue 3 (2010), Page 223-228.
Fölster, S. with several coauthors (2010) Reforming the Welfare State – Recovery and beyond University of Chicago Press.
Fölster, Stefan (2006) Do entrepreneurs create jobs? in Carree, Martin and Thurik, Roy, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, U.K
Nima Sanandaji is a Swedish author with a Kurdish Iranian background. He has a Master’s Degree from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, an Advanced Master’s Degree from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and has previously conducted research studies at both Chalmers and the University of Cambridge.
Nima has previously published seven books, covering subjects such as entrepreneurship, tax policy, women’s career opportunities, integration and innovation within the IT sector. He is also the author of several reports, dealing with various public policy subjects in Sweden, as well as articles in international publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Human Events and The Guardian.